The important difference between a tumor and cancer, is that the tumor does not resemble the tissue it occupies, whereas cancer does. So a cyst and tumor are independent masses, but a cancer is formed in the organ itself – this was understood by one of the Donghan students, James Ramholz in his article titled “Donghan View on Cancer” – the problem was, his explanation of it, was in pure TCM terminology, which western doctors do not understand and cannot follow, unless they learn TCM to some extent – so important things like how cancer progresses from organ to organ, is lost if you do not understand basics of the 5 elements.
To understand the view on how cancer progresses – one must understand the 5 element cycle which TCM uses – as well as just one of the tools used by Donghan Medical practitioners.
The 5 element chart is an observation of how the organs communicate in the body, and control each other – a better translation of 5 element would be 5 phases chart – as this illustrates it better.
Each phase is associated with an organ in the body and its functions – such as Heart being the fire organ, and Liver being the wood organ and so on – it is important to understand that although it sounds very “out there” and not linked to science (to a western doctor) – a closer look and more reading on the 5 element basics, can help explain a new world which western medicine has seemed to completely miss.
The chart below is a simplified version of the 5 element cycle:
The normal cycle (productive/creation cycle) is the normal way the body functions – and cancer is seen as something that follows the destructive cycle (on most cases) in terms of its growth and where it is heading towards (which organ). This can be useful in terms of diagnosis and predicting where cancer can go next, and taking necessary actions if available in modern medicine.
This is why a combination of eastern medicine and western medicine can dramatically help patients survival rates, and something that must be looked into by any serious doctor who has cancer patients they are wanting to help.
We will be posting more on Eastern Scholar’s lineage (Donghan) on cancer, and how treatment is carried out – especially in terms of supporting the body, whilst doing any kind of therapy such as chemo or radiotherapy.